Seventy eight years ago, on May 21st, the World Trade Center was opened as an exhibit at New York’s 1939 World’s Fair. Following China’s last-minute decision to pull out of the Fair, the Fair Committee hesitantly agreed to have a heretofore unknown organization called World Trade Center, Inc., as an exhibitor; the organization offered events at a Fair-based location named the World Trade Center. The Trade Center was hugely successful, with more than half a million attendees passing through its hallways.
At the end of the Fair, in October 1939, the Fair Committee invited World Trade Center, Inc. to return the following year. After fighting over a $78 cleaning bill for several weeks, however, World Trade Center, Inc., told the Fair Committee to stuff it, and the location was given to Switzerland.